Entries from 2024

dipping a toe into the côte d’or

By billn on February 12, 2024 #picture gallery#travels in burgundy 2024

As a warm-up for my three weeks in Beaujolais I, last Friday, dipped my toes into the (mainly) reds of the Côte d’Or before a Beaune weekend with a wonderful Saturday ‘lunch’ in the Hospices de Beaune – my first!

Two domaines in Gevrey-Chambertin and one in Chambolle; Astrelles, Marc Roy and François Millet. It wasn’t weather for sunbathing but I still toured a few vineyards – interesting to see three different approaches in the vines – all within a stones-throw from the house in the Clos des Issarts.

Then it was cool to see that most of the decorations for the St.Vincent were still in place in both Morey and Chambolle: The estimate was 70,000 people attending the St.Vincent weekend – for a time the police had to stop people coming into Chambolle-Musigny as the streets are so narrow and there were queues forming!

And the lunch in the Hôtel Dieu? Yes, in La Chambre du Roy – I’ve had tastings in here before but it’s the first time that I saw it set with tables for lunch. Really a super Saturday afternoon – yes we were there for 4.5 hours!

weekend 5 2024 – Beaujolais training!

By billn on February 06, 2024 #degustation

a brace of 2019 Fleurie

I will start my tour of Beaujolais in a few days – so what about a little training in preparation?!

This was more a play-fight than a battle – both were wines that I would rebuy – but I was surprised how easily the Foillard won this particular match-up!

2019 Jean Foillard, Fleurie
A nice volume of aroma – and unlike the often ‘savoury’ nose chez Foillard that I was expecting, here is just cushioned pure fruit – and it’s lovely. There’s fine flavour here too – a little generosity to this silky texture and depth of fruit but all is balanced and absolutely delicious – particularly in the finish. That’s singing right now!
Rebuy – Yes

2019 Clos de la Riolette, Fleurie
A more direct nose, the fruit aromas are still welcoming though mixed with some herbed complexity today. In the mouth, I’m surprised how structural this wine has become – nothing worrying but it’s clearly a different beast to the comforting texture and fruit of the Foillard. It remains a delicious wine but one that’s certainly in a more structural phase – perhaps it will eventually become tighter too versus its youth. There’s no reason to think that it won’t re-emerge even better though.
Rebuy – Yes

Adieu Chablis – for now

By billn on February 06, 2024 #picture gallery#travels in burgundy 2024

Friday was my last day in Chablis – for my first tranche of visits!

I managed a little more than 60 domaines in my January tour but actually have a list of over 100 domaines that I could potentially visit. That means I will have to visit again in March, April and possibly May too!

There are worse things 🙂

The weather wasn’t bad and the Scooby (2) surged through the 600,000 km mark – just one day with a little rain but the last two weeks were incredibly mild for January – 10-14°C and no frosty mornings. At this stage, I think the vigneron(ne)s should be happy that they have some stock after two decent volume vintages!

Just a few pics from underway…

It’s already week 4 of 2024 – best celebrate with some wine !!

By billn on January 28, 2024 #degustation

2019 Boris Champy

2019 Boris Champy, Hautes Côtes de Beaune Altitude 421
A cushioned dark-red fruit cordial nose framed with some creamy oak – it really is a sumptuous invitation. With time in the glass – actually the second glass! – the oak us forgotten. In the mouth you have the same impression as the nose – cushioned, sumptuous fruit with a moderately overt accent of creamy oak. Super texture. What a far too delicious wine – clearly a great Bourgogne – and the bottle empties mysteriously quickly !!
Rebuy – Yes

T-shirts already !

By billn on January 26, 2024 #travels in burgundy 2024#vintage 2024

Chablis views this week…

The weather has been very topsy-turvy in Chablis for the last 10 days – you could go as far as to say bizarre!

Last week I arrived to a hoarfrost – all the trees were white – but there was no snow. Tuesday morning when I did a short jog, it was -8°C. Tuesday evening when I did a long jog – it was warmer but still minus and there were snowflakes in the air. Wednesday lunchtime it was 15°C but Thursday morning we were back to -4°C !!

This week we seem to have settled around 13-14°C daytime temperatures and a lot of the buildings haven’t yet recovered from last week’s cold – so it’s often warmer outside. Yesterday was rainy – so nothing to see – today for an hour we had sunshine – and what did I see in l’Homme Mort? People pruning in t-shirts…

We have become accustomed to seeing that in recent years for a few days in February – but it’s not yet even February – pff!

a couple of wines…

By billn on January 25, 2024 #degustation

An interesting couple – and certainly a delicious couple.

2022 Julien Brocard Chablis Boissonneuse
A staple in the Nanson household since the 2017 vintage when, as our house wine, we knocked off at least 3 7-packs (yes, 7-packs !!) over a single summer. This, now one of the first bottled 22s drunk at home – another 7-pack(!) purchase. This Julien Brocard wine is from his orange wax topped biodynamic range, DIAM sealed.
A forward, ripe fruit nose that’s clean in the width and shows plenty of depth. Full and ripe in the mouth too but this is delicious and has just enough tension to keep things moreish! A larger wine than the ‘zing’ of the 2021 but it will become more classic with age – I’m sure – I’m just not sure that any of these will live long enough to test that 🙂
Rebuy – Probably Yes

1999 Guy Castagnier, Clos de la Roche
From a six-pack bought way back – around 2002. After this bottle, just 2 more remain, plus a 1998 but possibly my 1996s and 1997s are all gone…
Ooh – now that’s a nose – this is not far away from being completely ready – of course with absolutely no rush for those who want to chance their arm for another 20 years! A complex nose, inviting with dried leaf complexity and still some fine purity of darker red fruit. It’s lovely on the palate – again dark-red fruit and lovely texture. The, once, direct flavours have now given way to more width over the palate but the lovely finishing flavours are so persistent – but not sufficiently persistent to slow down the drinking of this bottle 🙂 Five years ago (the last bottle that I opened) I thought there might have been a bit of brett but this wine was clean and it was polished off on the night. Lovely!
Rebuy – Yes

Reports Update

By billn on January 24, 2024 #reports

Chablis - Friday 19th January 2024
Chablis – Friday 19th January 2024

As I previously wrote – due to the number of requests, over the last 7 days I added the last 30 domaines in piecemeal fashion to my 2022 Côte de Nuits report – and on Monday (yesterday) the report’s 50 domaines were all finished – so please enjoy!

So, that’s 146 domaines since the harvest plus another 24 domaines whose 2022 wines I tasted in the weeks before the harvest. You won’t be shocked to hear that I’m already 30 domaines into my tour of 2022 Chablis !! At least I can start typing those now 🙂

My best to all…

Concours des Vins de Chablis – 2022 vintage…

By billn on January 23, 2024 #annual laurels

It’s that time of year again – it’s mid-January and I’m in Chablis – that means that it’s also time for the Concours des Vins de Chablis.

Held over the weekend – this was the 38th edition. This year it was the 2022s under the magnifying glass – except that they looked one year further back (at the 2021s) for the grand crus.

Following on from Guillaume Barion, two years ago, and Jasper Morris last year year who both took on the role of head of the jury, this year the honour fell to French sommelier, Jean-Luc Jamrozik, president of the Paris Sommeliers Association.

Jean-Luc was responsible for 63 jury members, whose task was to taste 335 wines (up from 259 wines in the small volume 2021 vintage) and decide who should get a medal – easy! Actually, it was seemingly not so easy because from this larger number of samples a very modest 27 received medals.

Above right (click) you can find the BIVB‘s summary of the medalists released this morning – in French!

The best gamay in the world !(?)

By billn on January 17, 2024 #annual laurels#beaujolais

The 14th edition of the International Gamay Competition took place at the Cité Internationale de Lyon last Saturday – the 13th of January.

David Béroujon 2021Over 800 wines from 4 countries; France, Switzerland, Italy & Brazil were tasted by a jury of 181 ‘professional wine tasters and informed amateurs‘ who awarded 267 medals including 164 Gold and 103 Silver. So 20% of the wines received a gold medal – which sounds a little high.

That said, my experience of winners has been positive (though I visited only one winner!) – and his Beaujolais wines have always been delicious – David Béroujon – pictured, right, with his trophy.

From the 164 gold medals there was an additional ‘taste-off’ which was won by an old vines Moulin à Vent by Domaine du Colonat who are based in Villié-Morgon. An address to add to my list 🙂

The runner up wine came from Switzerland: AOC Coteau de Peissy, Domaine des Charmes, Le Baron Rouge Vieilles Vignes 1er cru 2022. Now that really is a mouthful !!

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